Little Kids Rule During the Earlybird Special at Birds Barbershop

Calling all little kids!

Throughout the month of January, Birds Barbershop in the Heights is offering $5 off any kidcut (regularly $21 for kids 10 and younger) when visiting Monday through Thursday between 10 a.m to 3 p.m. It also includes a free treat from Steel City Pops!

Little kids love coming to Birds to play on its video game arcades before their cut, and grabbing a lollypop on the way out.

After the cut, swing by the neighbors at Steel City Pops for a free customization – a drip, dredge, drizzle or dust – when you mention the Earlybird special during the hours indicated.

Clients can walk in during regular business hours, schedule a same-day appointment via the Birds Booking app, or call ahead (713-999-0800) to be placed on the wait list. For more info, visit birdsbarbershop.com or @birdsbarbershop on Instagram.


Houston Gift Idea: Neighborhood Dinosaur Shirts!

Looking for a last minute holiday gift? Check out this unique wear, designed by a Houston mom, that represents both your neighborhood and your love of dinosaurs!

Each part of Houston will be divided and given a dinosaur to represent its side of town! Third Ward is represented by the TRIceratops while the Houston Heights is represented by the very tall Brachiosaurus!  Find them HERE!

More t shirts and neighborhoods to come… What neighborhood would you like to see?


Cyber Monday & Houston Ticket Discounts… The 2018 Round Up!

We’ve been posting our favorite deals over on the Facebook page… but there are getting to be too many!

Here are my favorite deals around Houston and online for Cyber Monday and beyond.  If you see something you like, just be quick to grab it, because tickets/deals usually sell out!

And always, tell us the best deals you’ve found!

Affiliate links included.

Main Street Theater – Save 25% on Tickets – Use code CYBERMST – On MONDAY, November 26 ONLY, purchase single tickets for any of these Main Street Theater – Houston productions, and save 25%!
​​​​Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley
Mr. Popper’s Penguins
The Secretary
Jackie & Me
Alexander & the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
The Weir
Goosebumps: The Musical
Relatively Speaking

A Christmas Carol – A Ghost Story of Christmas at Alley Theatre – Save 20% with Discount Code SNOW

Magical Winter Lights Houston – Save 20% on Groupon, and even more on Cyber Monday – MWL is a giant lantern festival in La Marque. The lanterns include local landmarks, international landmarks, a mermaid, unicorn, dinosaurs and much more!

Two, Four, or Six Tickets to Festival of Lights & Discovery Museum at Moody Gardens, November 25 – January 6 – Big discounts for Cyber Monday!

Schlitterbahn Waterparks – Save 40% on Tickets and Memberships – On Monday ONLY, purchase Schlitterbahn Waterparks Any Day Tickets, All-Texas Platinum Season Passes, and Schlitterbahn Merchandise from the online store – all for 40% OFF.

Splashway Waterpark – On Monday only, buy up to 4 tickets for just $25 each! That’s $20 in savings per ticket!

Space Center Houston –  Save 20% off the price of all gift memberships through Cyber Monday!  Use promo code BFCMMBR02

More Discounts on Holiday Shows – It is time for the holiday shows and activities around Houston… but with lots of kids, the ticket prices add up quickly!  Below are the discounted shows and activities we’ve found so far… and will keep updating it as we find more.

$5 Off $20 Book Purchase at Target.com – Through December 1st, go to Target.com and save $5 off a select book orders of $20 or more. No promo code is needed as the discount will automatically apply at checkout.

Barnes and Noble – Save 20% on your entire order. Use code CYBER20 at checkout.

Kindle Paperwhite E-reader – $79.99 shipped (regularly $119.99) – Find the deal on Amazon.com

ABCmouse – Save 60% – Now through November 26 November 30, 2018, you can get a one-year ABCmouse.com membership for only $45 (regularly $95)! That is $3.75 per month, which is 60% off the regular cost of an annual membership.  With an ABCmouse.com subscription, kids ages 2-8 have access to over 850 lessons and 9,000 individual learning activities across ten levels. As your child finishes each lesson, they will be guided to the next one.


ABCmouse 1-Year Subscription Only $45 (Regularly $95)

Now through November 26 November 30 December 26, 2018, you can get a one-year ABCmouse.com membership for only $45 (regularly $95)! That is $3.75 per month, which is 60% off the regular cost of an annual membership.

With an ABCmouse.com subscription, kids ages 2-8 have access to over 850 lessons and 9,000 individual learning activities across ten levels. As your child finishes each lesson, they will be guided to the next one. The curriculum includes hundreds of entertaining animated activities, each teaching a specific learning topic. Kids can play games, read books, listen to music, color, trace, express themselves through art and so much more!

As motivation to complete the learning activities, the children will be rewarded with tickets. They can use these tickets to “purchase” virtual items on the site. The rewards system also teaches them important math skills as they keep track of the tickets they earn and spend.

If you find that ABCmouse.com is not a good fit for you and your family, you may cancel your account at any time within the Parent Dashboard to avoid future billings. Note that your payment information on file will be billed now at the price selected above (1 payment of $45 or 3 monthly installments of $15) and then your subscription will renew automatically every year at the same price until canceled.

Get all the details, HERE.


Get 1 year for only $45 - Over 60% off!


STEM gifts for kids (but not just any STEM gifts for kids)

I get asked a lot about good STEM gifts for kids… and my answer is not usually very satisfying for the person asking.

First, I think STEM has become sort of a marketing word and a way to get parents to buy toys.  I mean, we want our kids (especially girls) to get interested in Science Technology, Engineering and Math, so we should feel compelled to buy anything that is labeled as a STEM toy, right?  No!

Second, I do not think dolls and girly toys are the reason why girls do not pursue STEM careers.  So far I’ve had no problem holding a baby in my arms and doing math in my head.  Same goes for my male coworkers.  (Of course, if we were to say that girls can’t play with “boy” toys… our kids might think there are also “boy” careers.  And that would be a problem.)

Third, there is not one toy… or even 100 toys that will make a kid grow up to pursue a STEM career.  That said, there are toys that will get kids building things and problem solving… and they might just enjoy it so much they think building things and problem solving would make a cool career.

So, if you haven’t lost interest, I will tell you my favorite STEM toys… with the disclaimer that I am just one engineer!

My favorite STEM toys:
affiliate links included

1.  Legos – Not all parents like these little blocks that get spread around the house (and no one likes stepping on these in the middle of the night), but I adore these building blocks.  First the kids build with the instructions… and when they fall apart they invent something new.  For these, I would just get the name brand Legos.  They are expensive… but the off brands are not always the right sizes and do not stick together and are very frustrating.

 

2.  Duplos – These are bigger Legos… and are great when kids are too little for Legos. (And Lego Juniors are for kids inbetween Duplos and Legos.)

 

3.  Wooden Blocks – Nothing fancy… just blocks to build with!

 

4.  Magna-Tiles – These are building blocks with magnets on the edges, making them easy to stick together.  These are expensive, but very popular when we see them at playdates.

 

5.  Snap Circuits – I love this toy.  Kids can build simple circuits and make lights turn on, build burglar alarms and more.  I’ve used it when I talk to preschoolers about electrical engineering and they are always very interested in seeing how things are built.  With my own kids, I usually sit down to guide them on one design (from the booklet) and then they take over for the next one.

 

6.  Math Dice Jr – This is a fun little dice game that includes addition and subtraction.  (For kids that don’t know the basics yet, I’ve heard that these are also good: Sum Swamp, Pop, and I Sea 10.)

 

7.  Insect Lore Butterfly Growing Kit – This is not an engineering toy, but it is a cool science toy.  You purchase the set and then spend an additional $5 to get the caterpillars in the mail. The kids can see the caterpillars form their chrysalises and begin their transformation into butterflies. The butterflies are then released into the garden.

 

8.  Halley Harper, Science Girl Extraordinaire: Summer Set in Motion – This book’s main character is the science girl heroine that my daughter needed.  She is funny, girly and also a curious little scientist.  I just ordered my second copy for a gift.

 

That’s my short list… and I’m sure there are more things to add.  If you have favorites, let us know!


Give Away: Two Amazing Silhouette Sessions with Silhouettes by Erik

Oh! Have you seen this?  I want four of these for Christmas.

Silhouette Artist, Erik Johnson, creates hand cut silhouette portraits just by looking at a person’s profile and cutting with a pair of surgical scissors to get an exact likeness. He visit stores all over the country to do these special keepsakes for customers… and he’s coming to Fundamentally Toys in Rice Village!

He will be in store on December 13 and 17, 2017 and you can reserve a spot online:

Reserve a spot for December 13, 2017 (4:00pm-7:00pm)
Reserve a spot for December 17, 2017 (11:00am-2:00pm)

Fundamentally Toys is at 2401 Rice Blvd, Houston, TX 77005.  The original silhouette cost is $30, duplicates are $15 and framing is $20.

AND, I have 2 sessions for the original silhouettes to give away!  Register to win below (or HERE) and 2 people will win 1 session each!

Update:  Congratulations to Tiffany A & Lindy M!

Contest Ends:  Sunday, December 10, 2017
Official Rules:  https://goo.gl/wMRcxE


Museum Memberships & Local Tickets… What to give Houston families for Christmas!

Every year my mother-in-law asks what we want for Christmas… and it used to be that I did not have a good answer.  There are things we want but that are hard to ship across the country… and lots of things that could be purchased, but we don’t have a lot of use for.

Several years ago, she had the idea to send a zoo membership and we used it all year long… and since then, memberships are what I ask for from anyone that asks!

If you are looking to give a gift to a Houston family, here are some great options… plus I’ve added in some Cyber Monday deals.

Houston Zoo – $139+/Family
Unlimited free Zoo admission for one full year from your date of purchase and other members-only benefits.  Many local employers get a discount on memberships, so ask about it when you buy.  (ie Last year Marathon employees saved 25% on the membership.)

Hermann Park Conservancy – $50/Family
This is different than the Zoo Membership and supports the park.  Members get to ride the train for free, as many times as they want, on the second Saturday of every month.  Members also get to skip the train line, every day of the year.

Hermann Park Train or Pedal Boat Tickets – $35+ 
Pack of 10 Hermann Park train gift tickets and/or Pack of 5 pedal boat gift tickets.

Hermann Park Engineer for a Day – $150 (For ages 7+)
Best.morning.ever.  Little engineers help open up the train barn, prepare the train and drive it all morning.  See our experience HERE.

Houston Museum of Natural Science _ $115+/Family 
Receive 12 months unlimited admission to permanent exhibit halls at HMNS Hermann Park and HMNS Sugar Land. Also get members-only previews and events and get early and discounted registration for popular camps.

Children’s Museum of Houston – $120+/Family.  Monday, November 26, 2017 Only: Get 4 General Admissions + 2 S.E.C.R.E.T. Admissions = $50.  For ages 8 and older, accompanied by an adult.  Missions purchased with promo must be completed by Jan. 7, 2018. Use code CYSPY17
Unlimited free admission for designated number of people per visit for one full year.  Also get members-only benefits.

Health Museum of Houston – $85+/Family.  Winter Sale, Save $20!  Use code 20OFF.
Free admission to the museum and the DeBakey Cell Lab. (The DeBakey Cell Lab is very cool for other kids!)

Houston Fire Museum – $60/Family (Discounts for Fire Fighters)
Unlimited Free Museum Admission for Member and Family.  10% Discount on Gift Shop Purchases.  (There is a great fire station play room for young kids.)

Museum of Fine Arts Houston – $95/Family
Free admission for a year and discounts at the Glassell Art School.  There are a lot of family events during the week (like story time and workshops) and members get free admission.

Houston Arboretum – $75+/Family
Admission to the arboretum is free, but members can get discounts on events and classes, priority registration on camps and free admission ot the popular ArBOOretum Fall Festival.

The Woodlands Children’s Museum – $76/Family
Free admission for a year.  This smaller children’s museum is for younger kids, 7 and under.

Moody Gardens – $475/Family – Monday, November 27 Only: Individual Annual Membership: $100.00… regularly $140.00.  Family Annual Membership (up to 5 people): $400.00… regularly $475.00.  Use code CYBER
Unlimited free admission to the MG 3D Theater, 4D Special FX Theater, Rainforest Pyramid, Aquarium Pyramid, Discovery Pyramid, SpongeBob SubPants Adventure, Colonel Paddlewheel Boat, Palm Beach (Seasonal) and one entry to the ICE LAND: Ice Sculptures and unlimited entry to Festival of Lights.

Main Street Theater Youth Theater Tickets – $18+/Person or Season Tickets Available.  Monday, November 27, 2017 Only: Save 25% on individual tickets. Use code CYBERMST HERE.
Great shows for families.

Houston Symphony Family Series Tickets– $22+/Person or Season Tickets Available
Great shows for families.

Splashway Waterpark – $80+/Person through Christmas.  Monday, November 27 Only: Use code CYBER to save 25% on individual tickets.
Swim all summer at this great family waterpark.  See our review HERE!

Amazon Prime Membership
Okay, okay, this is not a Houston membership… but it saves me hours at the store (with kids) each week.  For free two day shipping, for a year… and more benefits, get an Amazon Prime Membership (affiliate) HERE!


Shop Small! Check Out the goods & services provided by Houstonians!

Each week I ask for your favorite local businesses and YOUR businesses on Facebook.  Now that we’re in gift buying and holiday party season, give these locals a chance to impress you with their gear, gifts and services!

Even if you can’t buy from each one, click over to their pages to show your support! affiliate links included

Gifts and Gear:

Food and Drink:

  • Scout & Cellar: Preservative , pesticide, GMO free WINE with no added sugars, delivered straight to your door
  • Kustom Spices: Customized spices with no additives, fillers or preservatives.  No dairy, no soy, no corn, no MSG.
  • Bluebird Sweets:  You need to see these cakes!
  • Sugar Momma Sweets and Treats:  Cookies, cupcakes, treats and Lactation Cookies!

Deal Finder:

Parties:

Photographers:

 Classes & Playplaces & Child Care:

Dog Daycare and Boarding:

Fitness:

  • Beachbody:  Helping people reach their health and fitness goals and helping others to become coaches.
  • PosturFit: Female locally owned studio and it’s the place to go for beginner, intermediate or advanced pilates and barre

Massage:

Travel:

  • Brilliant Journeys: Dream vacations.
  • Allen Travel Pros: Land and Cruise Planners
  • Mouse Trip: Specializing in Disney, Universal, and family all inclusive resorts worldwide! Services are free and you will save time and money.

Technology/Electronic Repairs:

Landscaping & Pool Service:

Can’t get something home yourself? Call Bigbox Local Delivery

 

 

 

 

 

 


Museum Memberships & Local Tickets… What to give Houston families for Christmas!

Every year my mother-in-law asks what we want for Christmas… and it used to be that I did not have a good answer.  There are things we want but that are hard to ship across the country… and lots of things that could be purchased, but we don’t have a lot of use for.

Several years ago, she had the idea to send a zoo membership and we used it all year long… and since then, memberships are what I ask for from anyone that asks!

houston-museum-of-the-natural-science-christmas-trees-in-grand-hall
If you are looking to give a gift to a Houston family, here are some great options:

Houston Zoo – $129+/Family
Unlimited free Zoo admission for one full year from your date of purchase and other members-only benefits.  Many local employers get a discount on memberships, so ask about it when you buy.  (ie Last year Marathon employees saved 25% on the membership.)

Hermann Park Conservancy – $50/Family
This is different than the Zoo Membership and supports the park.  Members get to ride the train for free, as many times as they want, on the second Saturday of every month.  Members also get to skip the train line, every day of the year.

Hermann Park Train or Pedal Boat Tickets – $35+ 
Pack of 10 Hermann Park train gift tickets and/or Pack of 5 pedal boat gift tickets.

Hermann Park Engineer for a Day – $150 (For ages 7+)
Best.morning.ever.  Little engineers help open up the train barn, prepare the train and drive it all morning.  See our experience HERE.

Houston Museum of Natural Science _ $115+/Family 
Receive 12 months unlimited admission to permanent exhibit halls at HMNS Hermann Park and HMNS Sugar Land. Also get members-only previews and events and get early and discounted registration for popular camps.

Children’s Museum of Houston – $120+/Family
Unlimited free admission for designated number of people per visit for one full year.  Also get members-only benefits.

Health Museum of Houston – $65+/Family (Save 25% by December 31, 2016)
Free admission to the museum and the DeBakey Cell Lab. (The DeBakey Cell Lab is very cool for other kids!)

Houston Fire Museum – $60/Family (Discounts for Fire Fighters)
Unlimited Free Museum Admission for Member and Family.  10% Discount on Gift Shop Purchases.  (There is a great fire station play room for young kids.)

Museum of Fine Arts Houston – $65/Family
Free admission for a year and discounts at the Glassell Art School.  There are a lot of family events during the week (like story time and workshops) and members get free admission.

Houston Arboretum – $75+/Family
Admission to the arboretum is free, but members can get discounts on events and classes, priority registration on camps and free admission ot the popular ArBOOretum Fall Festival.

The Woodlands Children’s Museum – $76/Family
Free admission for a year.  This smaller children’s museum is for younger kids, 7 and under.

Moody Gardens – $380/Family
Unlimited free admission to the MG 3D Theater, 4D Special FX Theater, Rainforest Pyramid, Aquarium Pyramid, Discovery Pyramid, SpongeBob SubPants Adventure, Colonel Paddlewheel Boat, Palm Beach (Seasonal) and one entry to the ICE LAND: Ice Sculptures and unlimited entry to Festival of Lights.

Main Street Theater Youth Theater Tickets – $18+/Person or Season Tickets Available
Great shows for families.

Houston Symphony Family Series Tickets– $22+/Person or Season Tickets Available
Great shows for families.

Amazon Prime Membership
Okay, okay, this is not a Houston membership… but it saves me hours at the store (with kids) each week.  For free two day shipping, for a year… and more benefits, get an Amazon Prime Membership (affiliate) HERE!


Let’s Play for Change at IKEA through December 24, 2016

When my oldest went to preschool, I learned that play is a child’s work.  When they run, dig, paint, laugh and listen, they develop essential new skills.

Sadly, many children around the world lack safe spaces to play… and this is the reason for the new IKEA campaign.  Through December 24, 2016, our partner IKEA says, “Let’s Play for Change!“.

ikea-unicef
For every child’s book, toy or play furniture sold, IKEA will donate $1 to help fund children’s charities worldwide.  The Let’s Play for Change campaign is highlighting the IKEA Foundation’s partnerships that help children around the world play and develop, even in the most difficult circumstances.

These programs are helping hundreds of thousands of children, thanks to the work of six partner organisations in Asia and Africa: UNICEF, Save the Children, Room to Read, Handicap International, Special Olympics and War Child.

Get all the details HERE… and get to IKEA to support the effort!